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A little bragging about my grandson...

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Last Thursday (01/05/2017) evening, I returned home from a drive out to Phoenix AZ. The wife & I went out to visit my youngest daughter, who had just given birth to their 3rd child on 12/28/2016. Our 13th grandchild! Driving back those 2 days to K.C., I couldn't stop thinking about how proud I was of my 8 year old grandson, and how responsible was.

Let me give you a little background.

About three years ago, my wife & youngest daughter persuaded me to build my (then) 5 year old grandson a small/portable train layout. Of course, I jumped into it without much thought or reservation. I mean, REALLY?!?!? A N scale train layout for a 5 year old? My thought process didn't go any further than, "That will last a few weeks, MAYBE?" At the time, my daughter was getting ready to move to Phoenix AZ, due to her husband's new job at Grand Canyon University. I was "voluntold" I would be helping move them with my truck & a Uhaul, as he was required to fly out and take the job immediately.

So, a few weeks before the move, I hit up Ebay and searched for a layout. I found a plastic "preformed" one from Aurora (I think?), from some 40 years ago. (It's amazing at the stuff you can find on Ebay?) I glued it down on a "cut to fit" square piece of 1/2" plywood. Bought a few cheap Bachmann F9 locomotive/cars/caboose, in Santa Fe colors. I had the Atlas track, and a old Bachmann transformer. I glued the track down to the layout, pre-wired it, and added some scenery & a couple of buildings. noting fancy. I also got a smaller box and cut out the foam for his locomotives and 5 cars, so it could be kept all together as one box. Total cost, maybe $100.00? When I drove their belongings out to Phoenix, it was one of the boxes packed in the Uhaul.

Anyway, moving ahead to a couple of days after my recent arrival at their house.

My grandson took me upstairs to his room and brought out the box that contained his layout. It was the same box and layout I slapped together for him a few years earlier. I was totally amazed that's it was still together and is still one of his favorite toys to play with! You can't imagine how impressed I was, to see the layout was still operational! He was so sad and embarrassed to tell me, that a couple of the items were broken. He told me, after my daughter's urging to, "Talk to Papa about it". The locomotive still worked, but both the Rapido couplers were broken off. Also, on one end of a box car the coupler was broken, too. Other than that, everything was intact!

He is, and has been responsible for getting it out and putting it away by himself. My grandson K.J., has kept the layout in the box I gave it to him in. My daughter said he plays with it a few times a month, ever since I gave it to him. But recently, she hasn't seen him play with it. He has kept the tracks clean, as I told him to. And he still uses the box with foam cut outs, I made for the locomotive & cars. After asking how the couplers got broken, he told me one of the loco's couplers broke off while taking it out of the foam. His little sister broke one of the car's couplers and a friend broke the other taking a car off the locomotive while on the track.

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My point here is, he has taken care of it for 3 years! I am shocked to say the least! This is all the damage this "El Cheapo" Bachmann set has after 3 years with a young kid? Honestly, I never expected to see any of it, ever again. So, I brought home the little F9, and will take it apart, clean it, lube it, replace the 2 couplers and send it out with my oldest daughter when she goes to visit in less than a month. As a reward, I am going to build him a little larger layout, and give him some new Locos and rolling stock, the next time I drive out there.

So, I just needed to brag. I am so very proud of him, and hope that he continues his interest in model railroading.


  1. MuddyCreek's Avatar
    Nice! I think that it says as much about the respect he has for you as he has for his toys. He sounds like a keeper.